A STRIKING photo capturing the skyline from the Tyne Bridge is the overall winning image Great Exhibition of the North Photography Competition, it has been announced.

The competition was open to all ages with entrants tasked with capturing the essence of what they believe make the North of England ‘Great’ by responding to one of four themes - Northern culture, landscape and cityscape, art and design and my innovative North. Schools and colleges were also encouraged to engage their pupils with the competition and submit student responses in school specific categories to win £500 worth of art supplies.

The overall winning photograph, picked from over 1,000 entries to the competition, was taken by Ruth Dingwall, of Chester-le-Street, County Durham.

The 41-year-old captured the photograph from the Tyne Bridge after watching the Great North Run in 2017.

She said: “I am so honoured and excited that my photograph has won the Great Exhibition of the North Photography Competition.

“After watching the last person cross the Tyne Bridge at the Great North Run last year, I was struck by the beautiful skyline and had to stop to take this photograph.

“It was an incredibly poignant moment after cheering on all the runners. I am proud to have been born and raised in the North-East and regularly visit Newcastle so for my photograph to be recognised in this competition truly is an honour.”

The schools under-14s winner was Sanika Rajput, a pupil at St Ann’s R.C Primary School in Manchester. Sanika’s photo was taken at the Trafford Centre in Manchester after being inspired by the building’s structure and the labyrinth effect of its stairways.

The schools over-14s winning photograph was captured at Thrunton Woods, Christmas 2017, by Daisy Barnes, a pupil at The Duchess’s Community High School in Alnwick.

The winning photographs were selected by expert judges including celebrated photographer Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen and Michael Terwey, Head of Collections and Exhibitions at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford.

Carol Bell, Executive Director of Great Exhibition of the North, said: “We were overwhelmed with responses to our photography competition from people of all ages, based all over Northern England. It was incredibly difficult to come to a final decision as the quality was of such a high standard but we’re delighted with our choices and feel that each winning photograph embodies life in Northern England.

The overall winning photographer won a trip for a family of four to NewcastleGateshead during Great Exhibition of the North, with a two-night stay at Jesmond Dene House, return travel from Virgin Trains, and additional spending money. The schools under 14 photographer and the schools over 14 photographer both won £50 vouchers, plus £500 of art supplies for each school.

Competition entrants will see their work displayed as part of a digital exhibition on the Get North 2018 website (https://getnorth2018.com/).

The 80-day Great Exhibition of the North, centred around three major hubs, will officially open at 1pm tomorrow with the day culminating in a spectacular evening event.